Oklahoma's forest landowners are also able to participate in a number of markets at both the state and national levels.
There is currently a state-administered carbon offset market in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Forestry Services in cooperation with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission is working to facilitate a process for our forest landowners to better participate in carbon trading. As a part of the recently established carbon program, the Conservation Commission will issue carbon offsets for qualifying practices which include reforestation, and forest management. These offsets are then available to be marketed as "Oklahoma Certified" carbon offsets and sold to individuals and organizations looking to improve their carbon footprint.
On the national level, organizations such as the Chicago Climate Exchange, The Environmental Resources Trust, and TFS Green are working to provide the framework to market forest carbon offsets.
Individual forestland owners gain access to most carbon markets through what are called carbon aggregators. These carbon aggregators are brokers who take care of enrolling your forestland in the program, ensure that your wooded acres conform to market standards, and that you accumulate (aggregate) enough acres to trade your stored carbon in large trading blocks. The aggregator charges a service fee (usually 10 percent, but this varies among aggregators) from the annual sale proceeds to cover administrative expenses associated with managing the program.
OFS is working to develop further access to these markets by approaching aggegators and verifiers of forestry offsets on these trading platforms to encourage their expansion to our state. For all markets, either national, regional. or state, the minimum requirements for a landowner to participate include the development of a forest management plan. Once the plan is developed, offset aggregation and verification procedures vary dependent upon the market being pursued.
For more information regarding this new market for forestry carbon click here.